Lee Ufan


watercolor on paper
22 7/8 x 29 7/8 inches

In the late 1960s, Korean-born Lee Ufan emerged as one of the key figures in the Japanese Mono-ha (“School of Things”) group. At the same time, Lee played a crucial role in his native land in the Korean Dansaekhwa (“Monochrome Painting”) school that developed a unique, pared-down visual language focused on material, form, and process. Lee’s Dialogue series (2006- ) features a single, composed brushstroke on an empty ground. To make these works, Lee carefully loads the brush with a gradient of paint, holds his breath, and focuses on dragging the brush across the surface to make a perfect, meditative mark. The expanse of paper surrounding the mark is activated by the purposeful gesture, and the work perfectly encapsulates the artist’s material interaction created at a moment in time. Ufan’s work has been collected by museums around the world, and a major retrospective of his work, Lee Ufan: Marking Infinity, was organized by the Guggenheim Museum in 2011.